if you say you is, then you ain’t

August 31, 2016


If you say you are, then you ain’t

In the mountains of Vietnam and Laos lives the Saola, one of the rarest animals in the world. A forest-dwelling cousin to cows, the species was discovered in 1992 based on finding three skulls with unusual, long, straight horns. Researchers searched for 20 years but never saw the animal in the wild. It was only after a motion-sensitive camera captured its image on film that scientists caught a glimpse of one alive in nature.


 If virtues were animals, humility would be the Saola. Like the Saola, humility is rarely found in nature—and nearly impossible to catch by searching for it directly.


 So how do we become humble? In Philippians 2:3–4 Paul provides the key. Humility is a virtue acquired by repeatedly putting aside our sinful nature—selfish ambition and vain conceit—and valuing others above ourselves by putting the interests of others ahead of our own.


 Of course developing humility is about as easy as corralling a herd of Saola. But acquiring humility can—and must—be done if we want to grow closer to God. Here are three suggestions for developing humility:

  1. Recognize sin—Even as followers of Christ, we continue to sin. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1Jn 1:8). Recognizing our sinfulness increases our dependence on God and makes us more forgiving of others.

  2. Look to Jesus—Paul tells us that in our relationships with one another we must have the same mindset as Christ Jesus (see Php 2:5). Jesus’ meekness and gentleness is our model for how we should engage our neighbor. We need to consider how Jesus would treat someone—and then treat them that way.

  3. Put others first in prayer—One key test of humility is to examine the focus of our prayers. When we talk to God, do the needs and concerns of others take priority, or do we start with our own interests and requests? We can change this by rearranging our prayers so that we make a habit of praying for others first.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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